Hearing B&O’s $8,000 Soundbar Made Me Think About Mother Earth

Hearing B&O’s $8,000 Soundbar Made Me Think About Mother Earth

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Sustainability is a big topic at IFA this year, but every company has a different idea of ​​what the term means. For Bang & Olufsen, that’s the ability to literally use your (very expensive) new soundbar for decades, thanks to a deliberate focus on upgradeability and serviceability. oh and the sound is not bad Either that, ensuring you won’t feel the need to upgrade any time soon.

Let’s get this out of the way: The B&O BeoSound Theater costs as much as a good used car. It goes up to $7,990, which puts it out of reach of everyone except the market highs. So how does B&O justify that price?

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Features and features of Bang & Olufsen Biosound Theater

  • 12 speaker drivers; 12 power amplifier
  • Frequency response: 28Hz-23kHz; Maximum sound pressure: 112 dB SPL; Bass Capacity: 94 dB SPL
  • 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos Decoding, Dolby Digital TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 (including DD5.1), Dolby Matte
  • Advanced bass management system. Customizable Sound EQ
  • Power Consumption: 120W
  • Bluetooth 5.1, Dual Band WLAN 2.4/5GHz 802.11 b/g/a/n/ac
  • 3 x HDMI Input with CEC Input; 1 x HDMI eARC Passthrough 4K 120FPS / 8K 60FPS / 40Gbit . with
  • Ethernet switch with 4 x 1Gbit ports; 1 x 3.5mm jack slider for microphone mute
  • Beolink, Chromecast, Spotify Connect Airplay Support

First of all, it is the sound quality. We were given a demo of the theatre, set up by B&O in downtown Berlin, in a spectacular presentation space. The first part of the demo consisted of soundbar playing music in five styles, ranging from a classical piece to a vocal-oriented cover of I Was Made for Loving You by Maria Mena, and culminating in a hair-raising rendition of Rammstein’s adieu. . Even with the brief time allotted for this part of the demo, we were impressed with how balanced the soundbar was, how well spaced the instruments were, and how clear the vocals were. It was a really high end listening experience.

Next, a B&O rep played us a clip from Bohemian Rhapsody (the 2018 film starring Rami Malek), explaining how the theater reproduces the voices. B&O’s goal was to address the growing issue of unbalanced and uneven voice reproduction, which can occur when you mix content, streaming services, and hardware, which forces many users to rely on subtitles.

Bang Olufsen BeoSound Theater Soundbar 18

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

For the final part of the presentation, B&O connected the theater with two additional speakers installed behind us. The goal was to demonstrate the modularity of the system and how the soundbar interoperates with other speakers to provide the best possible experience. To show this, B&O used the opening car chase scene from James Bond: No Time To Die, which is heavy on tire-creeching, gunshots, and suitably upbeat music. The most interesting part was the part where Bond and his costar sat in a bulletproof Aston Martin while the villains shot it down. We could clearly hear gunfire from different directions against the car depending on the scene, which really added to the viewing experience.

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BeoSound Theater sounds impressive, but the technology and long-term thinking behind the device is probably the most interesting part about it. For one, this product is compatible with speakers that have been around for decades, meaning owners can plug it into their current setup with minimal hassle. This is also forward-looking: the manufacturer says that the product will Upgradable for at least the decade, both in hardware and software. The soundbar actually runs Linux and B&O says it will provide software updates and connectivity improvements throughout the product’s lifetime. To accommodate future updates, 50% of the system’s computational power currently goes unused.

Bang Olufsen BeoSound Theater Soundbar 13

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Of course, the soundbar must be used with the TV. The theater has a modular design that can fit any screen size from 55 inches to 75 inches. The soundbar can be grounded, mounted on a wall, or attached to a TV and mounted on a motorized stand that rotates to accommodate the user. Users can switch the TV or mounting methods themselves using commonly available tools, as the system is designed with upgradability and modularity in mind.

The design is elegant, yet imperceptible. The higher-end version (seen in pictures throughout this article) features a mid-century-modern-like wooden lattice inspired by sailboats.

$8,000 Soundbar: Hot or Not?

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To conclude, the Beosound Theater’s high price tag makes it inaccessible to most people, the authors of this post included. I will not do it sometimes Be able to justify spending $8,000 on a very fancy speaker. But I can admit that some of that money will go toward a noble goal: to make consumer electronics a little less disposable and a little more sustainable.

Read also: This Company That Electrified ’80s Motorcycles Is My Personal IFA Highlight

If you can buy a product “for a lifetime” instead of “upgrade” every few years, you’re saving the future—you’re saving some cash and the future—a bunch of earth pollution. It’s a good mindset to have when you’re shopping for appliances, even if they don’t cost a tiny bit.

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